Great War Theatre

Examiner of Plays' Summary:

This is an average London Revue, with a certain amount of briskness in it and very little wit or fun. The first part consists mainly of two scenes. One is laid at Christie's with a theatrical charity sale going on. Various actors and actresses are introduced, and there is an auction with Hale making jokes as the auctioneer. The second scene is in a "Government Employment Bureau", and consists mainly of jokes about incompetent ladies going on to the land, ending with a mock drilling of incapable recruits. There is nothing to object to in this: it is all good-natured chaff, and the drill-sergeant's remarks are like the ordinary jokes on the subject in "Punch". The other scenes in Part 1 are mere settings for songs. Part II starts with a ballet and goes on with a familiar garage business of selling a car. The next scene, VII, is a husband and wife affair, the husband telling lies about his absence in the week-end and finally being found out by the inclusion of a woman's boot in his bag and (apparently) the same number being chalked on that and on his own boot i.e. indicating that he had been with her at an hotel. This is really mere farce and I think it would be prudish to object, as this sort of thing is constant in these productions: there might possibly be a complaint from some prudish quarter. The chief of the remaining scenes is one in which the two comedians dress up as washerwomen and "back chat". The whole concludes with the various "principals" discussing their parts. Much of the dialogue is anything but refined, of course, but I can find nothing definitely suggestive to cut. I have marked (scene VII p3) a passage about a man seeing a girl "standing up in her bath" - the "standing up" points the thing unnecessarily and should be cut (slip). We might be told a little more about an "interlude" (scene VII, slip) i.e. what the "imitation" is. The songs are presumably all sent. Recommended for License G. S. Street.  "Hanky Panky" (additional) for production at the Empire, 4th June 1917. Scenes for the new edition of the Empire Revue. The first of them illustrates two adjoining bath-rooms, occupied respectively by a French girl and an English dude. Difficulties over the temperature of the water causes the man to clamber and look over the partition to see how his neighbour is getting on. When he discovers her sex he attempts to start a flirtation under distinctly uncomfortable conditions. The propriety of this scene will depend upon its treatment, and upon the decent attire of the lady in "morning wrap" and the man "in pyjamas". Another scene is laid in a store, where a lady buys all sorts of wonderful "combination inventions" for a friend at the front: and this is followed by an episode in the German trenches burlesquing the usual Bairnsfather sketch of our own trench humours. Then comes the inevitable restaurant meal under the inevitable Food-Control restrictions: and the whole winds up with the travesty of a charity sale at Christie's. The only doubtful item is the Bath Rooms episode: and as to this a warning to the Empire management will I think suffice. Recommended for License Ernest A. Bendall

Licensed On: 15 Mar 1917

License Number: 857

British Library Reference: LCP1917/6

British Library Classmark: Add MS 66161 W


N/A Empire, LondonUnknown Licensed Performance